Blood Orange Cheesecake

Ricotta cheese makes this lighter and less rich than a standard cheesecake.

  • Servings: 10
Blood Orange Cheesecake

Source: Martha Stewart Living, April/May 1994


  • 2 cups fresh ricotta cheese
  • 6 or 7 graham crackers, crushed into crumbs (3/4 cup)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
  • Pinch of salt
  • Grated zest of 1/2 orange
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream, whipped
  • 1 Candied Blood Orange Slices
  • Blood Orange Glaze


  1. Place ricotta in a sieve lined with cheesecloth, place in refrigerator, and let the ricotta drain for several hours or overnight.

  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Fit a parchment circle into the bottom of a 7-inch springform pan. Make crust: Combine graham-cracker crumbs and 2 tablespoons sugar in a small bowl. Stir in melted butter with a fork until crumbs are moistened. Press into bottom of pan, and bake for 10 minutes.

  3. Place lemon juice in a small bowl, and sprinkle gelatin over the surface. Set aside for 10 minutes to soften.

  4. In a small, heavy saucepan, beat egg yolks until smooth. Whisk in milk. Gradually whisk in remaining 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar. Add salt. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture coats the back of a spoon, about 7 minutes. Do not allow to boil. Transfer to a bowl, and stir.

  5. Stir in softened gelatin, orange zest, and vanilla, mixing until gelatin is completely dissolved. Set custard aside.

  6. Place drained ricotta in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth. Add cream cheese and process again until smooth. With machine running, add warm custard and process just long enough to combine. Transfer to a bowl and fold in whipped cream. Pour mixture into the prepared pan, cover, and chill overnight.

  7. Place a candied orange slice in center of cake. Pour glaze over top, tipping cake pan to cover completely. Chill for 1 hour, or until glaze is set.

  8. To unmold, wrap a hot towel around sides of pan to help release cake, and run a thin knife around the inside of the pan. Carefully remove outside of pan. Slide onto a serving plate, and chill until ready to serve.


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